Moon Salutation - Chandra Namaskar
What is Moon Salutation?
A moon salutation (Chandra Namaskar) refers to a sequence of yoga postures that helps the yogi calm the central nervous system and prepare the body for rest. This sequence includes postures (asana) such as mountain pose, star pose, low and side lunges, pyramid pose, and triangle pose. In Sanskrit, the ancient Indo-European language from which yoga originated, Chandra means "moon" and Namaskar means "greeting."
As with the sun salutation, (Surya Namaskar) the moon salutation is also not just one, but has several executions.
We will show you the Chandra Namaskar B, in which with the body we represent the various phases of the moon. You start with Tadasana to represent the full moon, then you slowly lower yourself to represent the waning moon, the empty moon and then the waxing moon and then full again.
Sun salutations help the practitioner energize the body and mind.
The moon salute lowers energy, connects us with our introspective and calm side. It brings tranquility, invites non-action.
When to Practice Chandra Namaskar?
During the full moon or new moon.
To align with the cycles of the moon, yogis can practice this sequence of postures to honor the new moon or full moon.
The moon is never the same throughout the year, each of its phases brings a change in energy, you can celebrate the crescent moon, waning moon or even a beautiful red moon with this sequence. Look at the sky and get inspired...
You can perform it at the end of a yoga practice.
Moon salutations are also a great sequence to perform at the end of a yoga practice or class to cool down the body after a workout, balancing the yin and yang energies in the body.
Before going to bed.
When aligned with a slow, steady breath, this series of refreshing yoga poses can help alleviate sleep problems and relax the mind before bed for an overall increase in well-being.
How to Practice Moon Salutation:
Before you begin
Intentions, before practicing take a look at the current moon phase, crescent moon? Waning moon? Full moon? Try to connect with the energy flow going on..
In contrast to most Hatha yoga sequences, moon salutations are practiced with the forehead turned to the long side of the mat. It is vital to maintain a connection with your breath and allow the inhale to slightly precede each transition.
Here is a step-by-step guide to the practice of Chandra Namaskar:
We start with the new moon!
Mountain pose (Tadasana). Enter the mountain pose by standing on the mat with your feet hip-width apart and bring your hands to your heart in an Anjali mudra. Press both palms together with the same weight on both hands and roll the shoulders back and down.
Now we begin the path of the waning moon.
p>Mountain Upward (Urdhva Hastasana). With an inhale, bring the arms up over the head, close the hands together and let the index fingers come out straight up, pressing the palms together.
Half Moon Standing (Konasana II). Raise the torso and bend to the right side, stretching the intercostal muscles on the right side of the body. Keep the chin slightly bent. Breathe.
Goddess pose (Utkata Konasana). Bring your arms to your side in a cactus shape with palms up and elbows at your sides. Rotate your feet so that your toes are pointing outward and your heels are pointing inward. Bend your knees and sit deeply on your hips. Breathe.
Star Pose. From the Goddess, turn your feet in the opposite direction so that your heels are facing out and your toes are facing in. Bring your arms above your head, stretched outward, so that your body takes the shape of a star, with your head as the fifth point.
Triangle Position (Trikonasana). To enter the triangle pose, pivot toward the right leg so that the upper body faces the short end of the mat. With your legs straight, bring your right arm to rest gently on your right shin, and lift your left arm into the air. Hold your hips as if your body were sandwiched between two pieces of glass.
Pyramid pose (Parsvottanasana). Still facing your right leg with your upper body, bring your hands above your head and close your fingers together with an inhale. Lean forward with your legs straight toward your right knee on an exhale. Reach your forehead as close to your knee as possible.
Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana). Bring your arms above your head with palms facing each other, and drop your left knee to the mat. Reach and expand through the chest, bending forward toward the right hip.
Side lunge (Skandasana). From the low lunge, turn sideways so that you are again facing the long edge of the mat. Bend your right leg and extend your left leg. Bring your hands to the center of your heart and breathe. Flex the toes of your left foot toward your face.
Wreath pose (Malasana). Bring both knees up, with your heels rooted to the floor. Sit between the knees. Press your knees open with your elbows with your hands at the center of your heart. Sink deeply into your hips but sit up through your spine and upper body. Here you are now the eclipsed moon, empty. Enjoy this moment.
Great, back to rising, the crescent moon begins with the next asana. Basically you repeat all the positions you've done so far, but in reverse order and from the left side.
Lateral Lunge (Skandasana). Bend the left leg and extend the right leg. Bring the hands to the center of the heart and breathe. Flex the toes of the right foot toward the face.
Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana). Bring the arms above the head inhaling, palms facing each other, and drop the right knee to the mat. Reach and expand through the chest, bending forward toward the left hip.
Pyramid pose (Parsvottanasana). Still facing your left leg with your upper body, tuck your toes in and lift your knee into a pyramid pose on the other side. Lean forward with your legs straight toward your left knee on an exhale. Reach your forehead as close to your knee as possible.
Triangle Pose (Trikonasana). Pivot toward your left leg so that your body is facing the short end of the mat. With your legs straight, bring your left arm to rest gently on your left shin, and raise your right arm above you. Hold your hips as if your body were sandwiched between two pieces of glass.
Star pose. Rotate your feet so that your heels are facing out and your toes are facing in. Bring your arms wide over your head extended outward, so your body makes the shape of a star, with your head being the fifth point.
The star pose is the fifth point.
Goddess Pose (Utkata Konasana). Bring your arms to your side in a cactus shape with palms up and elbows at your sides. Bend your feet so that your toes are pointing outward and your heels are pointing inward. Bend your knees and sit deeply on your hips. Breathe.
Half Moon pose or standing half moon (Konasana II). Step forward with your feet and straighten your legs. Bring the arms above the head and interlock the fingers, with the index fingers released. Raise your torso and bend toward the left side, stretching the intercostal muscles all over the left side of your body. Keep the chin slightly bent. Breathe.
Mountain Upward (Urdhva Hastasana). Step out of your side bend. With an inhale, bring your arms straight over your head, close your hands together, and let your index fingers come out straight up, pressing your palms together.
Mountain pose (Tadasana). Last pose, imagine a beautiful red full moon. Stand on your mat with your feet hip-width apart and bring your hands to your heart in an Anjali mudra. Press both palms together with equal weight on both hands and roll your shoulders back and down. You have now completed the cycle You are the new moon.
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Also read our article on greeting the sun!
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